Good News Thursday: Airbnb hosts Ukrainian refugees, WHO Africa’s first woman leader helps fight COVID-19

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Airbnb offers free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

People from Ukraine flee the country as Russian forces continue their attacks on multiple cities in the country. Airbnb announced on Feb. 28 it would provide free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees. (AP News)

Airbnb announced on Feb. 28 it will offer free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine as Russian forces continue the attacks and bombing of the eastern European country.

This announcement came after the U.N. refugee agency warned Europe would soon have to deal with one of the largest refugee crises of the century.

Airbnb has provided aid in previous refugee crises including those in Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela.

“We know that hosts and guests on Airbnb around the world are eager to stand up and assist this massive effort to help those fleeing Ukraine,” the company stated.

Baby receives heart transplant with twist to fight rejection

Doctors from Duke University say a baby is thriving after receiving a heart transplant involving a technique to help prevent the rejection of the new organ.

Six-month-old Easton Sinnamon received the transplant in summer 2021, but doctors didn’t announce it until March 7 because they were waiting to check if the implants were functioning like they had hoped.

The transplant consisted of a combination of two procedures: First, surgeons implanted his new heart, and about two weeks later, he had a second operation to implant the thymus.

“About six months later, testing shows the thymus tissue is building Easton well-functioning new T cells,” said Duke’s Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Dr. Joseph Turek.

WHO Africa’s first woman leader helps fight COVID-19

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti studies options to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the African continent. She is the first woman to lead the World Health Organization’s regional Africa office. (AP News)

World Health Organization Africa chief Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has become one of the world’s most representative voices when it comes to considering African people, especially women, who have in many ways been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since she was appointed in 2017, Moeti faced the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic and allegations of sexual assault by contractors during Congo’s Ebola crisis.

Despite the dependency Africa has had since the beginning of the pandemic, Moeti has worked to make it possible for there to be a steady supply of vaccines arriving and for Africa to create labs to manufacture vaccines.

“I’m certainly doing my best to be there not only as a technician and a manager and a leader, but also very much as a woman from the region, from the continent,” Moeti said. “At the same time, I’m looking forward to the day when it will no longer be notable that there’s a woman leading an organization, when it will have become part of the norm.”

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